REX BROWN - "10 Albums That Changed My Life..."
August 17, 2017, 6 months ago
Former Pantera bassist Rex Brown recently sat down with Music Radar and revealed the 10 albums that changed his life. Following is an excerpt from the rundown.
The Beatles - Revolver (1966)
Brown: “Revolver was one of the first records that really grabbed me. I don’t why know I keep going back to that album. People say, ‘Dude, the White Album!’ But Revolver is so good. Listening as a kid it had so many great tracks. Everything seems to go back to The Beatles. I can see that even though I lean more towards The Stones because I like the dirty grit. But when it comes to pure songwriting since I have been alive, it’s always been The Beatles. Without The Beatles a lot of these records on this list wouldn’t have been made.”
Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life (1976)
Brown: “If I don’t say this record then I’m not a real musician. That record is just over the top. I remember listening to that and you could hear the joy coming out of Stevie. It is pure. It is such a wonderful record. I would listen to all kinds of stuff back then. We were making the transition to the big city to Arlington when I met the Abbott brothers. Before then, I lived in a small town in Texas with a population of like 1,000 people and all we had was AM radio. That changed everything because on the AM radio we would just listen to America and Bread.”
Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger (1991)
Brown: “I’ve always been the rock ‘n’ roll guy in the band. One that struck me was Badmotorfinger. When that came out, we were still playing clubs and you had to wear the fuckin’ poofy shirt. That record came along, and I had heard the EP, but when I heard that record that was it. There’s been some great records that have come since then, I have been part of a few, but I don’t look to toot my own horn. I’m still trying to get over what happened to Cornell. That voice, my god.”
Go to this location for the complete interview.
Brown released his debut solo album, Smoke On This, on July 28th via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music). Brown stopped by the Guitar World studio to play along to "Train Song" from the upcoming album. Check out the video below:
Brown’s solo debut strips away any boundaries and preconceived notions, reveling in a newfound freedom to express all of the various shades of the man whose name is out front. The song “Fault Line” helped him find his voice. “That was the very first one I sang. After I got that one, I knew that I could do it, and Lance was my biggest motivator in finding that voice. Up until that point I just wasn’t sure.”
From there, there’s the brilliantly straightforward “Lone Rider,” the monstrous In Through The Out Door vibe of “Crossing Lines”, the Pink Floyd reverence of “Best Of Me”. “Get Yourself Alive” is something of an ode to “Strawberry Fields Forever”, but with a swift-kick of rock n’ roll. It’s rich in nuance, with Indian tandoori and layers of vocals. The extremely catchy “Grace” is “something you would never expect to hear off a Rex Brown record and that’s exactly why I did it. It’s just a really great song, period. Bottom line.”
Rex’s solo album is full of mojo and the force of character, determination, and nerve. He tracked lead vocals, rhythm guitars, and bass, working with his primary collaborator and old friend, Lance Harvill, a Nashville-based guitarist and songwriter, on the album’s songs. “Lance was & is, my main man on this. Everything we did was finely tuned, both musically & brotherly.”
Drums were tracked by Christopher Williams, himself no stranger to diverse tastes, from funk music to punk. His talent has been utilized by country music star Lee Greenwood, the reconstituted Blackfoot and most recently, power metal legends Accept. The album was produced by New Yorker turned Nashville transplant Caleb Sherman, a multi-instrumentalist with work on records by Little Big Town and Porter Block, among others. “Caleb produced the project from a musician's standpoint,” adds Brown. “Not just a typical producer’s standpoint, which was something I definitely needed. Between Caleb and Lance, we were a force to be reckoned with. They really pulled out the best in me.” Peter Keyes, known for his work with Lynyrd Skynyrd can also be heard on a few tracks. All bass tracking came from Rex himself as well.
Who is Rex Brown? To the industry, fellow musicians, and a legion of fans around the world, he’s the bassist for Pantera, one of the biggest hard rock and metal acts of the past few decades, alongside Nirvana and Metallica. They had Number One albums with minimal support from traditional commercial outlets and went platinum several times over. Pantera rode a groundswell of underground loyalty, earned through several years of blood, sweat, and road beers. Five major label albums, countless international tours, and a series of carnage-filled home videos cemented a legacy as large as their massive riffs and the band’s insatiable appetites for mayhem, authenticity, and brotherhood.
“My motto these days is ‘Shake some shit up,'" Brown declares about the new LP. “I’ve had my ups and downs, like anybody in this business. I wanted to feel like a true artist again, where I can write and record songs without worrying about any of the bullshit.”
“Get Yourself Alright”
“What Comes Around...”
“So Into You”
“Best Of Me”
“One Of these Days”
"So Into You" teaser:
“Train Song” video:
“Crossing Lines” lyric video: